The construction of the new Lyulin Highway to belt Sofia city was finally given the go-ahead after years of dragged procedures and discussions on the viability of the project. The official start of the project was given by Bulgaria's Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev who turned the first sod on Wednesday.
About EUR 142 M will be invested in the construction of Lyulin Highway. Bulgarian government will finance 25% of the project and the remaining 75% will be funded under the ISPA program of the EU. The highway, which will be a part of Trans-European transport corridors 4 and 8, will be 19 kilometers in total. It will have two lanes in each direction with a maximum possible velocity of 100-110 km/h. The facility will have a complex structure supplied with 26 bridges and viaducts, three road junctions.
The highway project planned to be ready by 2009 will ease the extremely heavy traffic on the route Sofia-Thessaliniki. Part of it, closer to the Greek border, is also Struma highway whose newest 39-km stretch, linking Dupnitza and Daskalovo, was opened later on Wednesday by the premier along with Transport Minister Petar Mutafchiev. The strategy for development and modernization of the country's infrastructure has been pinned high on the government's agenda, particularly after it joined the EU. Bulgaria plans to construct 717,14 km of highways by 2015.